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Rio Grande and Elephant Butte Reservoir, New Mexico USA

33.2N 107.1W

January 15th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - December 14th, 2009

USA - December 14th, 2009

The upper Rio Grande flows southward on a vertical axis through the center of this orthorectified image. The river runs through the Rio Grande rift, a rift valley extending from Mexico to Colorado.

The lake along the river’s course towards the bottom of the image is the Elephant Butte Reservoir. The reservoir, impounded by Elephant Butte Dam, is part of the Rio Grande Project for hydroelectric power and irrigation. The reservoir, which is the largest in the state of New Mexico, can hold 2,065,010 acre-feet (2,547,152,330 m³) of water.

Upon opening the full image, another lake is visible to the south: Caballo Lake. Smaller than its northern neighbor, it is nonetheless the fourth largest reservoir in New Mexico by surface area and the fifth largest by volume. The upper area of the lake is very shallow and in recent years has been blocked from the lower, deeper end of the lake.

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